Garden screening ideas: 11 chic ways with fences, panels, and planting

Our garden screening ideas are perfect for concealing parts of your plot, providing shelter, or upping the sense of privacy

garden screening ideas: modern screen and seating area
(Image credit: David Clerihew/Future)

Are you after some fabulous garden screening ideas for your plot? Both practical and stylish, they're an easy way to tailor your view outdoors, as well as your neighbour's.

There's a style to suit any sized plot or budget, too. Whether you need to up the privacy on your balcony, add a versatile shelter for a spot of sunbathing, liven up a hedge, or simply block off the bins, you can be sure that there's a screening solution for you.

From decorative designs and bamboo-filled planters to modern dividers and more, we've selected some of our very favorite styles for you to peruse. So, keep scrolling for a dose of garden screen inspiration. And then, why not check out our garden fence ideas, too?

The top garden screening ideas

1. Grow a living wall

garden screening ideas: living wall

For an organic feel to your garden space, use a luscious living wall

(Image credit: Colin Poole/Future)

If you're after an impressive look that's full of texture and interest, you can't go wrong with a living wall. Opt for one of these leafy beauties as part of your garden screening ideas and your seating space will be transformed into a jungle-like haven. 

It's a fabulous way to inject extra greenery into a smaller plot without taking up too much floor space, and makes a great natural barrier. Pair with sleek paving and modern furniture to balance out the billowing look.

2. Try a colorful windbreak

garden screening ideas: colorful patterned windbreak on lawn

Looking for more temporary garden screening ideas? Try a patterned windbreak

(Image credit: Debi Treloar/Future)

Garden screening ideas don't have to be permanent fixtures of your plot. Sometimes, they're useful to have just now and then, to shelter a picnic from the breeze, or provide a more private spot for sunbathing.

So, if you're after versatility and style, then opt for a colorful windbreak such as this one. We adore the summery print and bold tones which add a fun vibe to this cozy set-up on the lawn. 

Layer on the cushions, outdoor rugs, and even a pouffe or two in complementary hues for a scene that's perfect for summer lounging. And if you really want to take the ambience up a notch, then string up some festoon lights nearby – multicolored ones add a playful touch.

3. Plant large containers with bamboo

garden screening ideas: planters of bamboo near garden building

Bamboo, with its vigorous growth, makes a great option as part of your garden screening ideas

(Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies/Future)

Another stylish way to screen off a section of your plot is to use containers filled with tall plants. Large, modern designs such as these make an eye-catching statement from all angles. Use more than one and line them up to enhance the effect – it'll give your seating space a more exclusive feel. 

We love the use of bamboo for this idea as it grows fast and tall. For a flowery alternative with a more open feel, try Verbena bonariensis with its purple blooms. Or, you could try ornamental grasses – the RHS suggests Miscanthus 'Morning Light' for an informal summer look. Both will provide tons of pleasing texture and movement in the breeze.

Looking for more container gardening ideas? Take a look at our feature.

4. Go for a modern approach

garden screening ideas: acrylic screen in modern dining area

Be bold and go for a contemporary screen in a block color

(Image credit: David Clerihew/Future)

This acrylic screen adds a soothing statement to an outdoor dining set-up. And, by concealing the space further down the garden it creates two distinct rooms and a feeling of intrigue.

The pale blue hue brightens the look and provides an ideal canvas for dancing shadows from nearby trees. If you're after modern garden ideas, then a simple yet effective choice like this is often the best way to go.

5. Opt for vibrant garden screening ideas

garden screening ideas: blue screen on balcony

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

A vibrant screen like this is a gorgeous choice for adding a little more privacy and shelter to small garden ideas. Plus, as it's so lightweight, it can be moved around easily to suit your needs.

Woven in nautical cords, these designs are inspired by the Venetian Islands – this particular one gives a nod to the rich blues and greens of Murano glass. It'll instantly liven up a lacklustre patio or balcony.

6. Make your balcony more exclusive

garden screening ideas: Ikea screen on balcony

(Image credit: Ikea)

Speaking of balcony garden ideas, this budget-friendly design is an elegant way to deter prying eyes and give your space a more exclusive feel.

With three panels and four poles, it can be secured flat along a railing as shown. However, it could also be used as a freestanding divider in a larger plot to create a cozy nook. Pair with white-washed walls and complementary furniture for a grown-up style.

7. Combine with a pergola

garden screening ideas: decorative screened sides of pergola over seating area

Liven up your pergola with garden screening ideas – these are from Screen with Envy

(Image credit: Screen with Envy)

Pergola ideas are a stunning addition to an outdoor space – they provide shelter and create a distinct zone for outdoor living. But if you're looking to up the privacy levels, then how about integrating some decorative panels?

These ornate designs screen off the lawn area and create a more intimate atmosphere – a perfect setting for an alfresco dinner with loved ones. We adore the use of fairy lights too – their magical, glowy light will keep you enjoying the outdoors well into the evening (helped, of course, by the rustic chiminea nearby).

8. Add a natural touch with slatted fence panels

garden screening ideas: slatted wooden screen behind bench

A slatted fence can be softened with green foliage

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny/Future)

This panelled wooden screen adds a pared-back vibe to a modern plot. Softened with climbing foliage it screens off the area behind beautifully, whilst blending amongst its surroundings. Recreate the look by planting climbing hydrangeas, alliums, ferns and Alchemilla mollis in front, for a refreshing mix of green hues.

It's a totally on-trend backdrop for the contemporary bench. If you're looking to update your seating, take a look at our best garden benches buying guide.

9. Opt for decorative designs

garden screening ideas: black decorative screen against hedge

A floral patterned screen adds a layer of visual interest to a hedge

(Image credit: Simon Bevan/Future)

Sure, garden screening ideas can offer privacy, but they can also be a stylish design feature in their own right. If you're after a more subtle divide, or simply looking to break up an expanse of hedge or add interest to a plain wall, then something like this is perfect.

This dark metal screen with its floral detail certainly draws the eye and adds a ton of visual interest. Paired with modern furniture and vibrant colors, the finished scene offers a fun and artsy vibe.

On the lookout for more designs? Try our garden divider ideas.

10. Support a screen of roses with a trellis

garden screening ideas: trellis with climbing roses and archway

A screen of roses is a gorgeous way to divide a space

(Image credit: Rosemary Calvert/Getty Images)

Trellises are a timeless choice for garden screening ideas, and that's because they're just so versatile. 

As seen here, they provide excellent support for the best climbing plants – when it comes to gardens, these glorious roses are the epitome of romance. You could also give them a lick of paint in a hue that suits your theme – take a look at our best exterior wood paint buying guide for suggestions. 

Use to surround a patio, conceal the compost area, or to divide your plot from your neighbor's. Or, as shown in the image above, place either side of an arch to create different garden 'rooms'.

11. Use to define zones

garden screening ideas: white decorative screen in front of hedge

Decorative panels from Screen with Envy

(Image credit: Screen with Envy)

Everyone knows that screens can be used to define areas of your plot, but they don't always have to cut across sections to do so. Here, a pale-toned, decorative screen atop a sleek, mid-height wall gives the seating zone a distinctive look.

Not only does it brighten the space but it also ties in with the cream-colored garden furniture beautifully, adding a luxe vibe. We've got plenty more stunning styles in our outdoor seating ideas feature.

How do I screen my neighbor's garden?

garden screening ideas: slatted wooden screen covering building in garden

This slatted wooden screen helps to conceal the building beyond

(Image credit: Colin Poole/Future)

Although you might get along with your neighbors just fine, it's nice to have a little privacy from time to time. Many garden screening ideas can help to do just that, but, as Sophie Birkert, founder of Screen With Envy, says, it's always best to get your neighbor's permission first. They might well be pleased for the update, especially if you opt for a stylish design.

It's also worth double checking with your local planning authorities too, although most will allow you to screen up to two metres, says Sophie.

If you're trying to deter prying eyes from above, one of the best garden parasols is a quick and effective choice. After more tips? Head over to our garden privacy ideas.

What is the best garden screening?

'The best garden screening is multifunctional – providing both privacy from neighbors and gorgeous design,' says Sophie Birkert, founder of Screen With Envy.

'In 2021 we have also seen the home becoming multifunctional and this has extended into our gardens,' she continues. Look for screens which can be used to divide your plot into different areas. 'How about a summer snug or a WFG (working from the garden) area?' Sophie suggests.

So, opt for a screen that complements your garden's style – both in color and design – as well as your individual needs. Of course, you'll need it to suit your budget, too – and if you're looking for ways to save, our budget garden ideas have plenty of tips.

Holly Crossley
Acting Deputy Editor

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.